Let's Talk: Kesha Helps Others Cope With Depression

Today (Jan. 31) is Bell Let’s Talk Day, designed to end stigma and start a conversation about mental health.

It’s also a day to raise funds to support mental health initiatives across the country.

In recent years, a number of music stars have opened up about their personal battles with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

One of those to speak candidly about her mental health struggles is Kesha, who has said she wanted the songs on her latest album, Rainbow, to spark conversations about mental health. In a radio interview last year, the singer said depression and suicidal thoughts shouldn’t be taboo topics.

“I wrote a song about it, so let's talk about it," she said. "I think it's healthy to talk about feeling really down sometimes because life can be a f***ing bitch sometimes. And I think the beautiful part is that you hold onto hope ... and you keep showing up for yourself.”

In an essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter blog, Kesha reflected on some of her darkest moments.

“There were so many days, months even, when I didn't want to get out of bed,” she recalled. “I spent all day wanting to go to sleep, and then when I did fall asleep, I had horrible night terrors where I would physically cry and scream through the dark.”

In an interview with Billboard in 2016, the pop singer revealed: “I’ve battled a lot of things, including anxiety and depression.

“Finding the strength to come forward about those things is not easy. But maybe, by telling my story, I can help someone else going through tough times.”

Accepting the Trailblazer Award at the Billboard Women in Music gala, Kesha admitted it is sometimes difficult to just leave her house.

“I know I’m not alone,” she told the audience. “These are struggles millions of people around the world deal with on a daily basis.

“I know it’s scary, but once you take the first steps to help yourself, you’ll completely change in the best of ways.”

Kesha added: “Sometimes your journey will take unexpected turns, but that’s the beauty of life. Get up and show up for yourself and don’t let anyone stop you, and most importantly, do not let anyone else ever take your happiness.

“You are worth it.”

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This past December, Kesha penned an essay for TIME about making it through the holidays when you are dealing with mental health issues – advice that applies year-round.

“It’s not your responsibility to try to make the whole world happy. Especially since sometimes it’s not that easy to make yourself happy, either,” she wrote.

“Trying to spend all of your time pleasing everyone else is not only exhausting — it’s impossible. And you know what? If you take a little time for yourself, you will actually be much better company for those around you.”

This echoes what Kesha wrote in a piece for Teen Vogue a few months earlier. “Taking the time to work on yourself requires bravery," she said.

Kesha also believes shutting out social media from time to time can help. “Too much of it can exacerbate my anxiety and depression,” she wrote.

The singer has pledged “to take more breaks from social media and screens” and to tune out the body shamers and cyberbullies.

“Remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes,” said Kesha. “And that no one can take the magic you make."

Bell Let’s Talk is an initiative of Bell Media, parent company of iHeartRadio in Canada.